The Special Investigation Service (STT) and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) finished the first stage of the specialist exchange. In summer, intelligence agents from Lithuania underwent training in the FBI Training Center, Texas, the US, and, in September, a FBI analyst worked in Lithuania for two weeks.
“Lithuania concluded an intergovernmental agreement with the FBI in 2002, however, its implementation has essentially been a unilateral assistance from the FBI for us so far. The specialist exchange is a fundamental change starting closer institutional cooperation,” stated Valdas Jacynas, Head of STT Department of Intelligence Activities.
According to him, the organization of work in the STT and the FBI is currently similar, and, when carrying out investigations in some fields, Lithuania has more opportunities than the US. “Our country is not large, therefore, we usually work with smaller information flows and it is easier to process information. On the other hand, the FBI has much wider experience,” noted the STT official.
The STT is actively cooperating not only with the FBI, but also with other foreign services and investigations institutes. This cooperation is complemented by the project Further Enhancement of Anti-Corruption Efforts that has been carried out since the beginning of this year and has received LTL 3.1 million (EUR 900,000) from the EU.
This year, STT intelligence agents and analysts have taken several courses for intelligence officers conducted in the United Kingdom and according to the programme for exchanging experience have undertaken training in divisions of the German BKA (Bundeskriminalamt) (Federal Criminal Police). Analysts have taken courses orgaized by Jane’s Information Group which delivers CIA security studies, and intelligence officers have taken part in exercises and training for officers conducted by the London Metropolitan Police. The STT has also invited a visiting expert – a former British intelligence officer – to hold a workshop on the STT intelligence model and to make recommendations on the organization of intelligence activities.
This training sharpens both intelligence and analytical skills of the STT. Valdas Jacynas said that analytical intelligence activities had been recently strengthened by special services in all countries, especially, in the US. “The September 11 attacks demonstrated shortcomings in the interinstitutional and intergovernmental exchange of information, as a result, currently the FBI in the US and law enforcement institutions in other states pay closer attention to improving of analytical intelligence activities,” maintained the official.
Funds allocated to the project Further Enhancement of Anti-Corruption Efforts – approximately EUR 300,000 (around LTL 1 million) - are used for strengthening of law enforcement, which includes the above-mentioned training for STT operatives, analysts and investigators. According to Valdas Jacynas, law enforcement is the most expensive STT field in terms of resources – it is carried out by the majority of STT personnel, and the share of funds allocated to this area makes up about 80 percent of the Service’s total budget. Moreover, funds provided for this project are also used for prevention and the development of anti-corruption education of the public.
The project started at the beginning of this year will be implemented until the end of 2008. It is also planned to send a few STT specialists to BIA Austria (Anti-Corruption Unit of the Ministry of Interior) this autumn to undertake a study tour there.